The West Point Oath

A reader writes:

In your most recent attack on Cheney, you quoted an oath that servicemembers swear when they join the armed forces. That is the oath for enlisted servicemembers, not for officers.

In point of fact, Cheney's audience - the cadets of West Point - take a different oath upon receiving their commissions, as follows:

"I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully execute the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God."

Notice the glaring difference: the officer, unlike enlisted servicemembers, does not swear an oath to obey the orders of the President or of the officers "appointed over me." His oath is solely to defend the Constitution.